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Publication numberUS20080006183 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/478,071
Publication dateJan 10, 2008
Filing dateJun 29, 2006
Priority dateJun 30, 2005
Publication number11478071, 478071, US 2008/0006183 A1, US 2008/006183 A1, US 20080006183 A1, US 20080006183A1, US 2008006183 A1, US 2008006183A1, US-A1-20080006183, US-A1-2008006183, US2008/0006183A1, US2008/006183A1, US20080006183 A1, US20080006183A1, US2008006183 A1, US2008006183A1
InventorsDenver Patrick, Jeff Counterman, Derek Craig
Original AssigneeDenver Patrick, Jeff Counterman, Derek Craig
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for positioning tools and parts at a point of use
US 20080006183 A1
Abstract
An apparatus for positioning at least one of a tool, a part and an instructional manual at a point of use includes an arm formed by a plurality of elongated sections which are pivotable and adjustable in a horizontal plane. A rack and pinion device with a manually operable crank is provided for mounting and moving the arm in a vertical direction. A tray is attached to a distal end of the arm.
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Claims(19)
1. An apparatus for positioning at least one of a tool, a part and an instructional manual at a point of use, said apparatus comprising:
(a) an arm means;
(b) means engageable with a first end of said arm means for connecting said arm means to a vertical stationary structure and for selectively moving said arm means in a predetermined direction; and
(c) means connected to a second end of said arm means for operatively storing such at least one of a tool, part and instructional manual.
2. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said arm means includes an elongated base member and a plurality of telescopic elongated sections, wherein said elongated base member includes said first end of said arm means and wherein one of said plurality of telescopic elongated sections includes said second end of said arm means.
3. The apparatus, according to claim 2, wherein said arm means further includes a locking means for selectively securing each telescopic section in one of an extended and a collapsed position.
4. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus includes a first plurality of elongated sections and a second plurality of pivot means for pivotally attaching said plurality of elongated sections together, said plurality of elongated sections are movable anywhere between an extended position wherein each of said plurality of elongated members are positioned along a common longitudinal axis and a folded position wherein each of said plurality of elongated sections are positioned adjacent such stationary structure.
5. The apparatus, according to claim 4, wherein said arm means further includes a plurality of locking means for securing each elongated section in at least said extended position.
6. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus includes a pivot means for pivotally attaching said first end of said arm means to said mounting and moving means.
7. The apparatus, according to claim 6, wherein said pivot means includes a pin member having a base secured to one of said mounting and moving means and said arm means and a threaded stem which extends outwardly from said base and through an opposed one of said mounting and moving means and said arm means.
8. The apparatus, according to claim 7, wherein said apparatus further includes a lever having a threaded aperture engaging said threaded stem, said lever manually operable for securing said first end of said arm means to said pivot and mounting means.
9. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said connecting and moving means includes:
(a) a toothed rack;
(b) a pair of brackets for positioning said toothed rack in a vertical direction and for attaching said toothed rack in a spaced relationship to such stationary structure;
(c) a pinion means operatively coupled to said toothed rack and to said first end of said arm means; and
(d) a crank means connected to said pinion means for selectively moving said arm means in a vertical direction.
10. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said connecting and moving means includes:
(a) a toothed rack;
(b) a pair of guide rails;
(c) a mounting means for attaching said pair of rails to such stationary structure and for horizontally positioning said pair of rails in a parallel spaced relationship with each other;
(d) an attachment means for positioning said toothed rack in a vertical direction and for attaching said toothed rack to said pair of rails for movement in a horizontal direction;
(e) a pinion means coupled to said toothed rack and to said first end of said arm means; and
(f) a crank means connected to said pinion means for selectively moving said arm means in a vertical direction.
11. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein such stationary structure is one of a wall, a column, a partition and a workbench.
12. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus further includes at least one electric outlet secured to one of said arm means and said storage means and an electric cord connected to said at least one electric outlet and extending towards said connecting and moving means for connection to a source of electric current.
13. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus further includes a light fixture secured to one of said arm means and said storage means and an electric cord connected to said light fixture and extending towards said connecting and moving means for connection to a source of electric current.
14. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus further includes at least one air chuck secured to one of said arm means and said storage means and an air hose connected to said at least one air chuck and extending towards said connecting and moving means for connection to a source of pressurized air.
15. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said storage means includes a tray having each of a predetermined shape and a predetermined size.
16. The apparatus, according to claim 15, wherein said tray includes a shaft portion attached to a bottom surface thereof and pivotally engaging a bore disposed in said second end of said arm means.
17. The apparatus, according to claim 15, wherein said tray includes at least one cavity formed therein for storing at least one of a plurality of tools and a plurality of parts.
18. An apparatus for positioning at least one of a tool, a part and an instructional manual at a point of use, said apparatus comprising:
(a) a base means for moving and stabilizing said apparatus;
(b) an elongated member vertically attached to said base means;
(c) an arm means which is one of telescopic and foldable;
(d) means engageable with a first end of said arm means for connecting said arm means to said elongated member and for selectively moving said arm means in a vertical direction; and
(e) means connected to a second end of said arm means for storing such one of tools, parts and instructional manuals.
19. An apparatus for positioning at least one of a tool, a part and an instructional manual at a point of use, said apparatus comprising:
(a) an arm having a predetermined length;
(b) means engageable with a first end of said arm means for connecting said arm means to a stationary structure; and
(c) means connected to a second end of said arm means for storing such one of tools, parts and instructional manuals.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to and claims priority from Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/695,284 filed Jun. 30, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates, in general, to mechanic tool trays and, more particularly, this invention relates to an apparatus employing an adjustably mounted tool tray for operatively positioning tools, parts and the like at a point of use.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As is generally well known, mechanics performing repairs and maintenance on equipment such as vehicles and machinery experience difficulties with storing tools and parts in close proximity to a point of their use. Placing tools and parts on a portion of a vehicle or machinery being worked on often results in such tools falling to the floor or into the equipment potentially causing damage to equipment and creating hazards to the person performing such repair and maintenance work.

Efforts have been made to alleviate difficulties in placing tools and parts in close proximity to their location of use. U.S. Pat. No. 5,374,019 to Fischer, U.S. Pat. No. 5,116,264 to Wiederrich et al and U.S. Pat. No. 4,728,065 to Coote disclose various types of tool trays which are attached, by way of a vertical member, to a movable base and which are adjustable in order to be placed over an engine compartment of the vehicle, for example, for conveniently storing tools and required parts. However, these devices can only be moved as close as the wheel or a bumper when working on a vehicle and furthermore limit the ability of the mechanic to freely move around the three sides of the engine compartment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first embodiment, the invention provides an apparatus for positioning at least one of tools, parts and an instructional manual at a point of use. The apparatus includes an arm means and a means engageable with a first end of the arm means for connecting the arm means to a rigid structure and for selectively moving the arm means in a predetermined direction. There is also a means connected to a second end of the arm means for operatively storing such at least one of tools, parts and instructional manuals.

According to a second embodiment, the invention provides an apparatus which includes a base means for moving and stabilizing the apparatus. An elongated member is vertically attached to the base means. There is an arm means either telescopes or folds. A means is engageable with a first end of the arm means for connecting the arm means to the elongated member and for selectively moving the arm means in a vertical direction. There is also a means connected to a second end of the arm means for storing at least one of tools, parts and instructional manuals.

According to a third embodiment, the invention provides an apparatus which includes an arm means having a predetermined length, a means engageable with a first end of the arm means for connecting the arm to a stationary structure and means connected to a second end of the arm means for storing at least one of tools, parts and instructional manuals.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide an apparatus for positioning at least one of a tool, a part and an instructional manual at a point of use.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus that employs a simple tray for positioning at least one of a tool, part and instructional manual at a point of use.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus which employs a simple tray for positioning tools, parts and instructional manuals at a point of use and which is adjustable in a vertical and a horizontal direction.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for positioning tools, parts and instructional manuals at a point of use which is simple to operate.

Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for positioning tools, parts and instructional manuals at a point of use which can be mounted to a remotely disposed stationary structure.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus which employs a simple tray attached to a movable base for positioning tools, parts and instructional manuals at a point of use.

In addition to the several objects and advantages of the present invention which have been described with some degree of specificity above, various other objects and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent to those persons who are skilled in the relevant art, particularly, when such description is taken in conjunction with the attached drawing Figures and with the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of an apparatus for positioning tools and parts at a point of use according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the apparatus for positioning tools and parts at a point of use according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the apparatus for positioning tools and parts at a point of use according to a presently preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the apparatus taken along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 3 illustrating a pivot member of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the apparatus taken along the lines 6-6 of FIG. 3 illustrating a tray member of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 3 illustrating its use in combination with a vehicle;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the apparatus for positioning tools and parts at a point of use according to yet another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 9 is a front elevation view of the apparatus for positioning tools and parts at a point of use according to a further embodiment of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Prior to proceeding to the more detailed description of the present invention, it should be noted that, for the sake of clarity and understanding, identical components which have identical functions have been identified with identical reference numerals throughout the several views illustrated in the drawing figures.

Reference is now made, to FIGS. 1-7. Illustrated therein is an apparatus, generally designated 10, for positioning at least one of a tool, part and instructional manual 2 at a point of use. A first essential element of the apparatus 10 is an arm means, generally designated 20.

A second essential element of the apparatus 10 is a means, generally designated 70, engageable with a first end 22 of the arm means 20 for connecting arm means 20 to a rigid structure 4 and for selectively moving the arm means 20 in a predetermined direction.

A final essential element of apparatus 10 is a means, generally designated 100, connected to a second end 24 of arm means 20 for storing such one of tools, parts and manuals 2.

According to one embodiment of the invention, best illustrated in FIG. 1, arm means 20 includes an elongated arm member 26 having each of a predetermined length and a predetermined cross-section. The predetermined length is based on a distance between stationary structure 4 and the point of use. The predetermined cross-section is based on the distance and the weight of the elongated member 26 and the weight to be carried by such elongated member 26. Preferably, such elongated arm member 26 is made from a tubular material.

According to another embodiment of the invention, shown in FIG. 2, arm means 20 includes an elongated base member 32 and a plurality of telescopic elongated sections 34 and 36. Such base member 32 includes the first end 22 of arm means 20 and one of the plurality of elongated sections, such as the end section 36, includes the second end 24 of the arm means 20. By way of example of FIG. 2, the arm means 20 includes a total of three elongated sections 32, 34, and 36, however it should be understood that another quantity of telescopic elongated sections may be employed for positioning at least one of the tools, parts and instructional manuals 2 at a point of use.

The arm means 20 may further include a locking means 40 for selectively securing each telescopic section in one of an extended and a collapsed position. For example, such locking means 40 may include a bifurcated member 42 attached at one end of the elongated members 32 and 34 and a lever 44 pivotally attached to the bifurcated member 42 with a pin 46 and having a cam portion 48 engageable with an outer surface of elongated members 34 and 36, respectively.

Now in particular reference to FIGS. 3-5, the apparatus 10, of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention, includes a plurality of elongated sections 33, 35 and 37 and a plurality of pivot means, generally designated 50, for pivotally attaching the plurality of elongated sections 33, 35 and 37 together for movement anywhere between an extended position wherein each of the plurality of elongated members 33, 35 and 37 are positioned along a common longitudinal axis and a folded position wherein each of the plurality of elongated sections are positioned adjacent the connecting and moving means 70. For the sake of clarity, FIG. 4 illustrates the arm means 20 in a partially extended position.

The pivot means 50 preferably includes a pin 52 which has a first portion 54 secured to one end of elongated member and a threaded stem 56 which extends through the outer surface of the adjacent elongated member. Advantageously, a locking member 60 having a threaded aperture 62 is engageable with the threaded stem 56 provided for securing elongated sections together at least in the extended position. A washer 38 may be provided for aiding in pivotal movement between the elongated sections. The preferred material of such washers 38 is plastic and, more particularly, Delrin RTM.

When the rigid structure 4 is a stationary vertical structure, such as a wall, column, bench and the like, connecting and moving means 70 of one embodiment of the invention may include an elongated member 72 and a pair of brackets 74 for positioning the elongated member 72 in a vertical direction and a member 76 coupled to the elongated member 72 in one of a rigid and movable manner and connected to the first end 22 of the arm means 20.

When the member 76 is movable along the elongated member 72 and is securable by a pin 78 and a plurality of apertures 79 disposed in spaced relationship within the elongated member 72, the arm means 20 is selectively movable in a vertical direction. The pivot means 50 may be further employed to pivotally attach the elongated section, having such first end 22 disposed therein, to the member 76 enabling horizontal movement of the arm means 20.

In the presently preferred embodiment of the invention, the connecting and moving means 70 includes a toothed rack 80, a pair of brackets 82 for positioning the toothed rack 80 in a vertical direction and for attaching the toothed rack in a spaced relationship to such rigid structure 4, a pinion means 84 is coupled to the toothed rack 80 and to the first end 22 of arm means 20. A crank 86 is connected to the pinion means 84 and is operable, preferably manually, for selectively moving the arm means 20 in a vertical direction. The pinion means 84 and the crank 86 may be of a type manufactured by Dutton-Lainson Company of Hastings, Nebr. under model number 22622.

The connecting and moving means 70 may be further equipped with an optional pair of guide rails 90, best shown in FIG. 7, which are horizontally positioned to the rigid structure 4 in a parallel and spaced relationship and a pair of bushing 92 each attached to a respective end of the toothed rack 80 and coupled to a respective one of the pair of guide rails 90 for moving the toothed rack 80 in a horizontal direction. It will be understood that a second pair of brackets 82 will be employed to attach the pair of rails 90.

The storage means 100 of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention includes a tray 102 preferably having a plurality of lips 104. Such tray 102 may be rigidly attached to the second end 24 of the arm means 20 and preferably, shown in FIG. 6, the tray 102 includes a shaft portion 106 attached to a bottom surface of the tray 102 and which pivotally engages a bore 108 disposed in the second end 24 of arm means 20. Tray 102 may further include plurality of cavities 109 formed therein for storing the plurality of tools or parts 2.

The apparatus 10 may be further provided with various accessories for aiding a user of such apparatus 10. For example, the apparatus 10 may include at least one electric outlet 110 secured to one of the arm means 20 and the storage means 100 and an electric cord 112 connected to the at least one electric outlet 110 and extending towards the connecting and moving means 70 for connection to a source of electric current (not shown). Preferably, such electrical cord 112 is at least partially routed internal to the arm means 20. Advantageously, the pin 52 is adapted with an aperture 58 for routing such electrical cord 112.

The apparatus 10 may further include a light fixture 114 secured to one of the arm means 20 and the storage means 100 and the electric cord 112 may be further connected to the light fixture 114.

The apparatus 10 may additionally include at least one air chuck 118 secured to one of the arm means 20 and the storage means 100 and an air hose 120 which is connected to the at least one air chuck 118 and extending towards the connecting and moving means 70 for connection to a source of pressurized air (not shown).

Such accessories are taught for example in U.S. Pat. No. 5,116,264 issued on May 26, 1992 to Wiederrich et al and teachings of the U.S. Pat. No. 5,116,264 are incorporated into this document by reference thereto.

The operation of the apparatus 10 is best illustrated in FIG. 7 in combination with a vehicle 6. The user of the apparatus 10 adjusts the arm means 20 in a horizontal direction by way of the pivot means 50 and locking member 60 and adjusts arm means 20 in a vertical direction by way of pinion 84 and crank 86 to position the tray 102 over the engine compartment 8 of such vehicle 6. The area around the engine compartment 8 and, more particularly, adjacent the wheels and bumper of such vehicle 6 is unobstructed thus enabling such user to freely move around the engine compartment 8.

Although the present invention has been shown in terms of the apparatus 10 attached to a rigid structure, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention is advantageous for improving existing tool trays having a movable base.

Now in reference to FIG. 8, there is shown an apparatus, generally designated 200, which includes a base means 210 for moving and stabilizing the apparatus 200. Elongated member 212 is vertically attached to the base means 210. An arm means 214, being either a foldable or telescopic type, has a first end 215 connected to the elongated member 212. Optionally, a connecting and moving means 218 of various types described above may be provided intermediate the elongated member 212 and the arm means 214. A tray 220 is connected to a second end 217 of the arm means 214 for operatively storing such tools, parts and manuals 2.

Now in reference to FIG. 9, the present invention further contemplates that an apparatus, generally designated 300, for positioning at least one of a tool, a part and an instructional manual 2 at a point of use, includes an arm 302, having a predetermined length, which may be attached to a mounting bracket 304 at one end with fasteners 306 and 307, or may be pivotally connected to the mounting bracket 304 with a pivot means 50 described supra.

Alternatively, such connection may be achieved with a pin (not shown) attached to the arm 32 and a bore (not shown) provided within the mounting bracket 304. In accordance with the above embodiments, a tray means 308 having a predetermined size and a predetermined shape is attached to a second end of the arm 302. It is further contemplated that the mounting bracket 304 is formed integrally with the arm 302. Such embodiment is advantageous in economically and temporarily positioning the tray 308 at the point of use. Alternatively, a telescopic or foldable arm 308 may be rigidly connected to the stationary structure 4 by way of mounting bracket 304.

Furthermore, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that an electrically powered winch may be employed in the present invention in combination with a switch mounted on the arm or the tray and operable by the user for selectively moving the arm in the vertical direction.

Additionally, the frictional collar and a nut may be employed for securing the telescopic arm sections or for securing the arm to a vertically positioned guide rail.

When a foldable arm construction of the presently preferred embodiment is employed in the present invention, each section may be connected with a swivel joint for moving such section in both vertical and horizontal directions. Furthermore, a cord reel may be provided with a telescopic arm for forming continuous tension in the electrical cord.

Thus, the present invention has been described in such full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains to make and use the same. It will be understood that variations, modifications, equivalents and substitutions for components of the specifically described embodiments of the invention may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7997211 *Jun 12, 2007Aug 16, 2011Steelcase Inc.Wall mounted workstation
US8567325 *Jan 31, 2013Oct 29, 2013John D. HlatkyWork table stowage and support fixture
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/42
International ClassificationA47B37/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B5/00
European ClassificationA47B5/00